Differentiation-inducing factor-1 (DIF-1) inhibits STAT3 activity involved in gastric cancer cell proliferation via MEK-ERK-dependent pathway

Oncogene. 2003 Jan 30;22(4):548-54. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1206109.


Differentiation-inducing factor-1 (DIF-1) is a chlorinated hexaphenone isolated from Dictyostelium. DIF-1 exhibits antitumor activity in several types of mammalian tumor cells, although the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. On the other hand, recent studies indicate that constitutively activated STAT3 acts as an oncogene and could be a target for antitumor drug. In the present study, we examined the effects of DIF-1 on proliferation of gastric cancer cell lines as well as on its signal transduction pathways, focusing mainly on STAT proteins. DIF-1 inhibited proliferation of gastric cancer cells. Western blot analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assay showed that DIF-1 inhibited STAT3 activity in an MEK-ERK-dependent manner in gastric cancer cell lines, AGS and MKN28. Moreover, blockade of STAT3 activity by ectopic expression of dominant-negative STAT3 or the Janus kinase inhibitor, tyrphostin AG490, inhibited cell growth of AGS cells. These results suggest that STAT3 activity plays an important role for cell growth in AGS cells, and raises the possibility that inhibition of STAT3 activity is one of the mechanisms responsible for the antitumor effect of DIF-1 in these cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Helminth Proteins / physiology*
  • Hexanones
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proteins*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Serine / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Trans-Activators / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Trans-Activators / chemistry
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Differentiation-inducing factor-1, Dictyostelium
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Hexanones
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Serine
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases